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DIY Pill Pockets for Your Pet

August 12, 2011

Pill pockets, ready to go!

We have an old, chauvinistic dog that has developed food allergies this year. He has absolutely refused to take his antibiotics with the stubbornness of Archie Bunker…. Until we discovered Pill Pockets- they are soft, hollow, flavored “treats” to put your pet’s medication in. But at $10 for a quantity of 30, the ol’ fart is going to break the bank. So it was time to get creative and figure a way around this.The treats reminded me of something vaguely familiar…play dough!

Enter: a modified homemade play dough recipe!

It works great! Here’s what you need and how to do it:

¾ c. flour

3 tbsp any kind of steak seasoning

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 TB. Cream of Tartar

1 cup water

1 TB. oil

Mix dry ingredients in small sauce pan, add liquid ingredients and heat over medium -high burner. Keep stirring without stopping or it will burn; dough will start to form a ball and keep stirring until it is no longer wet and sticky. Turn off burner and dump the ball of dough on to a sheet of wax paper to cool. When it is cool enough to handle, start pulling off pieces and rolling into little balls- make them big enough to hide your pet’s pill in. Store in a zip top baggie in the fridge.

Sneaky, sneaky!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2011 12:42 am

    Thanks so much for the kind comments! 🙂

  2. August 12, 2011 2:18 pm

    And it’s safe for the dog to eat?

    • Holly permalink*
      August 12, 2011 2:36 pm

      It should be just fine! The basic ingredients: flour, water and cream of tartar, are safe enough for people to eat- that’s why people started making homemade play dough for their kids. Cream of tartar is chemically called potassium bitartrate. It is a salt-like crystal that is formed in the fermentation process of fruit juices. It is used in several different food prep processes, such as stabilizing egg whites.
      So to get back to a simple answer (after I threw out all the science blather), its safe. It’s SALTY- that’s why dogs like it. I wouldn’t feed my dog three square meals of it for that reason, but to treat him and get him to take his medication, there is no problem. AND I feel like there are far fewer preservatives and other “junk” chemicals in it, compared to other conventional treats. 🙂

  3. February 9, 2012 1:49 am

    American cheese works great to hide pills and costs a lot less than the Greenie product and the cream of tartar in your recipe. Depending on the size of the pill pull off a half or quarter of a slice and mold it into a little cup in your hand and wrap the pill up in it. Cheese is pretty sticky so it works well. Plus most dogs love it.

  4. Pat permalink
    February 25, 2012 5:45 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Over the last year my dog has been working on an impressive life list of medical conditions. So much for hybrid vigor.

    I had the same idea about play-doh and pills, so was searching for exactly this. Seems like one could add any number of healthy flavorings to suit individual canine tastes.

  5. Donna permalink
    October 11, 2012 4:28 pm

    I am wondering how to adjust this for felines? Our cat has figured out all of our tricks and can even manage to eat the cheese and leave the pill. The only luck we had was with the store bought pill pockets, but 2 times a day for the rest of her life, plus the cost of the medicine makes me want to find a home made solution. Any one have any ideas on how to change up the recipe for a cat???

  6. Aubrey permalink
    November 21, 2012 7:17 pm

    I might have to give this one a try. I’ve been using crackers with a big enough glob of peanut butter to completely cover the pills. It works 4 out of 5 times, but every now and again the pill touches his tongue and he’s on to me!

  7. December 13, 2012 5:50 am

    Wondering how long these will last in the fridge!

  8. January 6, 2013 11:54 pm

    Does anyone have any ideas about making pill pockets for cats that take medicine?

  9. Cheryl permalink
    January 7, 2013 4:03 am

    Just want to mention that dogs and cats are carnivores and the most common food allergy is to grains. The flour and salty ingredients are enough to continue the allergy. You may want to contact a holistic vet in your area for diet suggestions. I find once dogs and cats switch to a species appropriate diet, they seldom need medication because the body starts to heal itself.

  10. Our Busy Life permalink
    April 24, 2013 6:12 pm

    I just ran across your blog looking for homemade pill pocket recipes. I actually have a great one but it’s peanut butter based and the fat seems to be giving my dog soft stools so I was looking for something else. But I wanted to share my recipe. It’s the peanut butter playdough people make for their kids. I had to sub flour for the powdered milk as my dog can’t tolerate any amount of milk. It’s one cup creamy peanut butter, a couple of tablespoons of honey and enough flour or powdered milk to make it play-dough consistency. I start with a third-cup and then add more as I stir. It probably ends up being close to a whole cup. I pinch off some, flatten it, put in the pills (five pills in the morning and four at night) and then roll it up into a ball. One recipe lasted about three weeks and she hasn’t caught on. I keep it in the fridge but it really doesn’t need to be refrigerated, there’s nothing that will go bad. I just hate that it started giving her problems. So I’m looking for another option now.


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